On 12.05.2022 the bill establishing the Commercial and Admiralty Courts was enacted by Parliament.
The two Courts are set to deal with and try complex and high profile cases, in order to lift the burden away from the busy district courts. The creation of these two specialized Courts aims to adjudicating disputes expediently and effectively, making Cyprus an international dispute resolution centre and more attractive to foreign business people.
The Commercial Court will be constituted by 5 judges and the Admiralty Court will be constituted by 2 judges. Both courts will be trying cases in which the claim value is not less than 2mln euros (with some exceptions). The judge of the Commercial Court shall have the discretion to grant interlocutory injunctions (i.e. freezing injunctions) also. The Commercial Court will not adjudicate any banking and finance disputes and it will adopt a Fast-Track procedure to deal with cases in a timeframe ranging from 9 months to a year.
Another important change brought about is that where the interests of justice so require, the proceedings may be conducted in the English language at the request of one of the involved parties. In such case, the language by which the procedure is to be conducted, the court documents are to be filed and the issue of judgments/orders will be in English. To facilitate the purpose, the use of the English language is also allowed when the High Court reviews and examines appeals for such judgements and orders. The addition of the use of the English language at these two Courts is part of a series of judicial reforms that are meant to exploit the legal system of Cyprus, in order to effectively serve the diverse Cypriot community, the current and new investors and the large number of ships registered in Cyprus.